Speaker Presentation Previews 2019

Nathalie Lasselin

The Urban Water Odyssey

How to raise awareness about our source of freshwater and tap water in big cities? Nathalie engaged in a journey of 70km alongside the shore of the island of Montreal. The UWO exploration required as much planning and commitment as any remote area expedition. Through this presentation, Nathalie will share the behind the scene of all the challenges encountered during the dives.

Tom Crisp

Cold Caves of Canada

Avalanches, animals and access! These are just a few examples of some of the unique logistical hurdles involved with cave diving in Canada. This presentation will showcase several exploration projects from the Alberta Speleological Society currently in progress and dive into what makes cave diving in the Canadian rockies unlike anything else.

Richard Harris & Craig Challen

The Tham Luang Cave Rescue

Australians of the Year Richard Harris & Craig Challen will deliver a special joint presentation on the events that unfolded at the far end of the cave. The truly amazing successful rescue effort involved thousands of people, including over 100 divers, many rescue workers, representatives from global governmental agencies, police officers and soldiers, and required police helicopters and more than seven police ambulances, hundreds of dive cylinders, plus the pumping of more than a billion litres of water out of the caves.

There was one fatality, Saman Kunan, a 37-year-old former Thai Navy Seal who died on 6 July while returning to a staging base in the cave after delivering supplies of air.
More info Click Here

Deborah Johnston

Sump Exploration in the Blue Mountains - unlocking the Jenolan Caves mysteries

Exploring deep sumps and the cave passage beyond within the complex 'Mammoth Cave' system at Jenolan - a grotty series of misadventures and logistical challenges

John Dalla-Zuanna, Wayne Johnson

Tank Cave VR Experience

Never been cave diving? Now's your chance. John & Wayne will be running a full VR Cave Dive Experience at OZTek. The VR immersion is a 3D reconstruction from data recently gathered by Richard Harris and allows participants to sample what it's like to dive in the famous Tank Cave, Mount Gambier.

Douglas Ebersole

Patent Foramen Ovale in Divers

This talk would explain the incidence and significance of a patent foramen ovale (PFO) to divers, along with strategies to decrease the risk of DCS. Results of the recently completed Divers Alert Network (DAN) PFO Study would be presented.

Nathalie Lasselin

Diving Canadian Arctic: The North West Passage

After guiding dives in the arctic, Nathalie Spent a month crossing the North West passage to document the underwater world. Having to find potential dive sites where nobody had dived before. Nathalie shares the ups and downs of Arctic exploration as well as the beauty of a harsh environment where the planet really looks like a planet.

Andreas Klocker

Sistema Huautla - Cave diving for science and exploration in one of the world's most spectacular deep caves

I will talk about the recent caving and cave diving expeditions I led to Sistema Huautla, one of the world’s deepest cave systems located in the southern Mexican state of Oaxaca. The goal of the expeditions is to connect Sistema Huautla with its resurgence in the remote Santo Domingo Canyon about 10 kilometers from its entrance. The successful connection of Sistema Huautla with its outlet would result in the world’s deepest and most spectacular cave traverse. I will focus in particular on the two-month long expedition in 2018 which was one of the most ambitious and challenging cave diving projects of recent times during which we attempted to surpass the previous limit of exploration, some five kilometers underground, reached on an expedition led by Bill Stone in 1984 when logistical challenges halted progress. It was this 1984 expedition which led Bill Stone to develop the now famous CIS-Lunar rebreather to overcome the logistical challenges which stopped progress in 1984, but nobody returned for 34 years until our expedition earlier this year.

Dawn Kernagis

Going Undersea to Get to Outerspace

Dr. Kernagis will present an overview of her experience in living and working undersea with astronauts during the 21st mission of NEEMO (NASA Extreme Environment Mission Operations).

Stephen Fordyce, Ryan Kaczkowski, Liz Rogers

Camping in Cocklebiddy

Co-presented by Liz, Steve and Ryan. An overview of the inventions, planning and rationale for spending 5 days camped underground in the second air chamber of Australia's longest underwater cave in late 2018. Sleds and stage batteries, cameras and movie nights, pushing the end and mapping the extension of sump 3 into the unknown. With great photos and video to show off Cocklebiddy as it's never been seen before.

Matty Smith

An Introduction to Under & Over Photography

Matty Smith has made above & below photography his specialty and won many awards with hi spectacular images. Learn how to get started from the over & under expert himself..

Julia Sumerling

Julia Sumerling

Discovering & capturing History

Photographing underwater history is question of discovery, adaptation and using what you have to get the best results. Julia uncovers the techniques of her photographic life of discovery.

Stephen Fordyce

Tasmanian Remote Sump Diving & Cave Camping

"Some of the coldest, nastiest cave diving in Australia is in Niggly Cave, 350m vertically down inside a mountain range. This is just one cave in the Junee-Florentine drainage system - an underground maze of epic proportions slowly being solved by generations of cavers and divers. Just getting to the dives is a logistical challenge involving technical caving techniques and often camping inside the cave.

This presentation will give a detailed explanation of diving and exploration in Niggly Cave and also Growling Swallet Cave (Dreamtime Sump), and discuss some of the considerations involved with spending a night underground, in conjunction with cave diving."

Matt Carter

Deep Archaeology and the Battle of Sydney Harbour

On the 31st May 1942, the War in the Pacific rocked Sydney Harbour as it was attacked by waves of top-secret Japanese Midget Submarines. This ambitious attack shattered Australia’s illusion of safety and came just metres from altering the course of the war leaving controversy and mystery in its wake. Seventy-five years later under the auspices of an Explorers Club Flag Expedition maritime archaeologist, Matt Carter along with a team of technical divers and filmmakers set out to investigate the last remaining evidence of the attack; the wreck of the M-24 Midget Submarine. Using cutting-edge 3D photogrammetry and technical computer animation the team can now tell the true story of what really happened that fateful night.

Dawn Kernagis

Extending the Boundaries of Human Undersea Resilience & Performance

As a research scientist, Dr. Kernagis focuses on studying ways to extend human performance and resilience against extreme environmental stresses - from undersea to high altitude to space. In this presentation, she will present current research taking place to protect divers and other underwater operators.

Peter Buzzacott

Tech Diving Near Misses, Injuries and Fatalities in the DAN Database

Diving with the isolator valve closed, breathing from the wrong tank, taking in a mouthful of caustic cocktail, these are the tech diving incident reports DAN collects and publishes. DAN also assists tech divers with decompression sickness, coordinates evacuations, and researches tech diving fatalities to identify potential issues that may need resolving. This presentation will highlight some of the more serious issues tech divers occasionally face.

Kevin Gurr

Understanding Rebreather Canisters

A presentation combining various elements of research from civilian and military sectors explaining the limitations and correct usage of CO2 management systems and the link with rebreather design.

Dale Clapperton

Diving & the Australian Consumer Law

Although the NSW Court of Appeal upheld the appeal of the dive operator in Lets Go Adventures v Barrett, several unresolved issues remain. This session discusses the Lets Go case, the implications for dive operators, and how consumer guarantees under the Australian Consumer Law have the potential to circumvent contractual waivers of liability.

Emily Turton

Maritime Archaeology in the age of Technical Exploration

Maritime archaeology is on the cusp of a revolution. Advances in technical diving equipment, and image based mapping software have recently opened up thousands of new shipwrecks for potential archaeological analysis. The exploration and research of this new frontier will require unprecedented collaboration between maritime archaeologists and technical divers with the possibilities of such work only limited to the depths of our imaginations.

Chris Rowland & Kari Hyttinen

WWII Aircraft lost at sea Revealing the Mediterranean’s wartime aviation heritage

"The Maltese archipelago’s geographical position in the Mediterranean Sea was of important strategic significance during WWII. The Siege of Malta from 1940-42 saw the air forces of Germany and Italy combine in a sustained campaign to destroy Malta’s defensive capability, which was led by the Royal Air Force and Royal Navy. Similarly, Vis Island off Croatia was used as a wartime emergency landing site fro Allied forces. Aircraft wrecks continue to be discovered on the seabed round these islands, revealing historic evidence of the extensive losses to both sides during this campaign. These wrecks represent rare and important examples of our wartime aviation heritage, currently hidden from the gaze of researchers, historians and the general public. We will present examples of these important wrecksites using a range of 3D visualisation techniques. "

Kirk Krack

Technical Freediving

Like other diving communities before them, the vanguard of freediving is now exploring pre-breathing mixed gas (at the surface) to improve divers’ safety and performance. In this talk, Kirk Krack, a former TDI instructor trainer, who has pioneered the use of oxygen and nitrox for what he calls “technical freediving" will discuss the theory, practice and open issues surrounding the cutting edge of freediving today.

Emily Turton

A Digital Tour of the WWI German High Seas Fleet

"Seventy-four German warships were interned in Scapa Flow over the winter of 1918/1919. On the 21st June 1919, fearful that the British intend to seize his ships and denied up to date news from the Paris Peace Conference, Admiral von Reuter initiates his plan to scuttle most of the interned High Seas Fleet. Fifty ships successfully sink. The world’s greatest feat of marine salvage ensued. Today just seven ships remain. The wrecks of Scapa Flow now offer an insight into a lost world of battleship building and they remain the most accessible WWI wreck diving destination in the world. The German Fleet also holds the secrets of over 80 years of diving history. The ships bear the scars of both commercial and piecemeal marine salvage alongside nearly 100 years of decay. They are huge and complex, and have far more to offer than most give them credit for. This talk will take the audience on a digital discovery of the German High Seas Fleet prior to the 2019 centenary of their sinking this coming June, sharing some of the secrets the ships have to offer. It will describe the effects of the salvage and decay on the structures and share modern photographs and archival salvage imagery. "

Simon Mitchell & Nick Gant

Hypoxia: Insights to a silent killer

When we use mixed gases for deep diving, and / or rebreathers, we almost inevitably create opportunities for mistakes that might lead to us inspiring a gas that contain insufficient oxygen to maintain normal body oxygenation. Examples include operation of a rebreather with the oxygen cylinder turned off, or mistakenly using a hypoxic bottom gas during shallow decompression on open circuit. The result of such mistakes is progressive reduction of oxygen levels in the blood (hypoxia). Hypoxia is an insidious condition. It often gives little warning of onset, particularly if there are other distractions. Unlike hypercapnia (high CO2), which usually produces unpleasant symptoms, a diver can easily pass through a stage of confusion and lapse into unconsciousness with little or no sense that anything is wrong. We have recently been conducting experiments in which human subjects are intentionally rendered very hypoxic whilst trying to perform a mental task, and the video records of these events are educational viewing for divers. In this presentation we will discuss how hypoxia can occur in diving, and how failure to recognize its onset is common. We will illustrate these principles with video and results of our recent experiments. Finally, we will discuss the safety and usefulness of intentional "dry hypoxia experiences" that have occasionally been advocated for divers, and why we doubt these are a good idea.

Michael AW.jpg

Photography & techniques from the Twilight zone

Michael will be focussing on the challenge and techniques for shooting safely and successfully in the open ocean with impetus on the world’s largest migration – animals from the Twilight zone

Todd Kincaid

Project Baseline

How citizen science can change the world & work to protect the world's water resources. Science strives to define an objective starting point - a baseline in which starting conditions such as water quality, water clarity, fish counts, living reef coverage, etc are compared to evolving conditions. Environmental declines can then be quantified and appropriate corrective actions developed. This comparative process is compromised when the measure of decline stems from nonexistent or poorly defined historical conditions. In this case, the baseline continually “shifts” downward as people with a different historical memory are outnumbered by newcomers – we refer to this phenomenon as Baseline Shift. Baseline Shift is a significant force for environmental degradation because it shrouds problems from the light of public recognition. Establishing a global library of baseline measurements is one of the most important things we can do to protect our cherished natural environments.

James Hunter

A Matter of Closure: The Effort to Solve the Riddle of HMAS AE1, Australia’s First Wartime Naval Loss

The discovery of Australia’s first submarine, HMAS AE1, in December 2017 solved the 103-year-old mystery surrounding its fate & final resting place. However, questions remained regarding what caused it to sink in the first place, as well as the submarine’s state of preservation and how it might be best managed in future. In early 2018, a detailed, 3D photogrammetric survey of AE1 was conducted. Because the site is located in over 300 metres of water, the survey had to be conducted from a remotely-operated vehicle & utilise camera equipment specially designed for use at great depth. This talk addresses the methodology & equipment used to locate AE1, as well as the follow-up effort to document the site with still & video imagery, & photogrammetric recording. It also outlines archaeological evidence of the catastrophic chain of events that resulted in the submarine’s loss.

Neal Pollock

Breathhold Hazards - The Known & Unknown

​Most breath-hold d​ivers have an appreciation of some of the fundamental risks of participation, but many would be surprised by the gulf between what is held to be true and what is really known. This presentation will provide perspective on the current state of understanding and knowledge, highlight knowledge gaps, and address some common misunderstandings

Simon Mitchell & Nick Gant

Temp sticks under the spotlight: CO2 monitoring in rebreathers

Efficient removal of CO2 from the exhaled gas is crucial to safety during rebreather diving. Not surprisingly there has been a technological focus on monitoring of CO2 absorbent canister performance in rebreathers. One such technology is so-called “temp sticks” which base predictions of remaining CO2 canister duration or impending CO2 breakthrough on progress of the exothermic reaction between CO2 and soda lime through the canister. We have previously reported the ability of several temp sticks to predict CO2 breakthrough in immersed rebreathers operated at surface pressure. We exposed them to exercise conditions simulating a typical dive (moderate exercise early with relative rest toward the end) and a dive with continuous moderate exercise, and found that temp sticks were accurate in the typical dive conditions but significantly less so in continuous moderate exercise. The latter result was inconsistent with manufacturer testing of temp sticks during moderate exercise conducted under pressure. We therefore repeated our moderate exercise studies in the Swedish Navy pressure testing facility. The results of these experiments will be presented at Oztek 2018. The current state of CO2 monitoring in rebreathers will be summarised.

Chris Rowland & Kari Hyttinen

HMS Vanguard – 100 Years Underwater Visualisation of a war grave

"843 men died when the battleship HMS Vanguard suffered a series of accidental yet catastrophic cordite explosions in Orkney on 9th July 1917. The site has lain undisturbed since its designation as controlled site in 2002 meaning no diving can take place with out special permission from the UK Ministry of Defence. Over the winter of 2016/2017 a self-funded teams of volunteer divers were granted a license to survey the wreck and debris field. Bringing together expertise in WWI warships, photography, videography, 3D photogrammetry, remote survey, munitions and explosive effects, including serving members of the Royal Navy, to document the ship for the centenary of her loss. The talk will share the story of Vanguard while focusing on the challenges and solutions of digital documentation and visualisation of such a complicated site. Archive material and ships plans will be shown alongside new digital imagery and 3D models. Together these both illustrate the ship as she was and illuminate our understanding of the layout and distribution of the wreck site today. "

Paul Toomer

Rebreather Bail Out - do you carry enough?

Explores how much is enough - what are the other safety ramifications and other safety topics being ignored by rebreather.

Amber Bourke

Freediving with Nature

Amber is an Australian record holding freediver who uses her breath hold to dive with whales, dolphins, manta rays and various species of sharks. In this presentation Amber talks about her underwater experiences and the secrets that will help you have underwater interactions you will remember for a lifetime.

Gareth Lock

Is there too much safety in tech diving?

An insightful look into how 'safety' has been developed in technical diving. Using research from decision-making, risk management and human factors and demonstrated using real-world examples where the difference between life and death was minute, Gareth will show how safety is your perception.

Neal Pollock

Thoughtful management of decompression stress

​The dive profile is most important, but there are a multitude of factors that can alter decompression stress. This presentation will consider key & contributing factors and the inter-relationships between them that can alter risk. Practical strategies to optimise decompression safety will then be discussed

Paul Raymaekers

Recreational SCR vs Technical CCR

In the diving community ‘easy’ SCR diving has been associated mostly with recreational shallow non deco diving, while CCR is mostly for technical diving. In this presentation we will demonstrate that things are not so ‘straight cut’ and there is clearly a wide area where SCR can be the preferred dive tool.

Kieren Hosty

The sad fate of HMAS Perth – almost gone but not forgotten

In 2014, the Australian National Maritime Museum (ANMM) received reports from technical divers that the shipwreck site of HMAS Perth (I) was being systematically salvaged. After extensive discussions with Indonesian Government departments and agencies the ANMM led the first Australian/Indonesian remote sensing survey of Perth in December 2016. This was followed by an in-water survey in May 2017. These investigations revealed Perth has been devastated by systematic, large-scale unauthorised salvage. Following the survey, ANMM and its Indonesian research partner Pusat Penelitian Arkeologi Nasional (ARKENAS), working in conjunction with the Royal Australian Navy and Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, successfully lobbied the Indonesian Government to have the site declared Indonesia’s first Marine Protected Area in March 2018. This presentation looks at the significance of HMAS Perth (I), exams the gradual demise of the warship from an almost intact state in 1967 through to the broken and fragmented sections of hull found in 2017 and the recent efforts to have the remaining sections of the warship protected.

Franck Gazzola & Julien Leblond

Under the Pole III

A visionary longterm scientific exploratory expedition, led by Ghislain Bardout & Emmanuelle Perie-Bardout, spanning years from Antarctia, French Polynesia & onwards to the Arctic. Where are they now, the logistics, discoveries, science and adventure of Under the Pole III.

Martin Parker

21 Years of CCR Business

Martin looks into the last 21 years of the CCR business to look at what we have learned, what we've forgotten and where we should be heading…

Paul Hosie & Bruce Clulow

Cook Island Crystal Cave Discovery

Spectacular cave discoveries in the Cook Island by their team in 2017 & 2018. Awesome videos and images of crystal formations to rival the Bahamas, the first time this has been seen in this region.

Thibault Guignes

Talking Competition

Neither tech nor recreational diving has a formal competitive component. Freediving does, though it is likely misunderstood by many outside this sport. This talk will discuss what freediving ‘ omps' are all about, present the (technical diving) depths and times divers are reaching, dispel the myths about safety (there have only been two competitive diving fatalities in the last 30 years), discuss special techniques involved and explain why a growing number of freedivers are flocking to compete.

Peter Szyszka

Polar Diving

Peter takes us on a journey into Polar Diving and shows us how to make the most of the Ultimate Cold Water experience

Peter Buzzacott

Cave Diving Fatalities, Monitoring & Prevention

This presentation covers the history of cave diving fatality monitoring & prevention, a description of the current status & consider potential initiatives for the future, based on actual results. Evidence-based tips for safer cave diving will be covered by this highly active cave diver and real-life cave diving incidents will be described.

Adam Sellars

Freediving - Lessons from the Deep

Adam explores how our brains deal with the Pressures and Stresses of everyday life and how we can combat these self-destructive patterns. You will get an in-depth insight into how Freediver’s can control their emotional state before putting their bodies through tremendous physical and mental stress and how this can benefit everyone in our fast-pace 24/7 modern world.

Dr Sonia Rowley

Using CCR for Mesophotic reef exploration & discovery

Dr. Rowley will share how she uses CCR technology to enable her to explore & make new biological discoveries at Mesophotic depths, yet also assist with reef conservation. Her research focuses on the exploration & discovery of biodiversity & the evolutionary ecology particularly of gorgonian corals at depth.

Simon Talbot

The State of Scientific Diver Training in Australasia

Scientific Diver training courses claiming to meet the above requirements are advertised through various organisations within Australia & New Zealand, including ADAS, PADI and ORCA (all RTO accredited), as well as SSI and SDI/TDI (non-RTO accredited). Course durations vary from 2 to 3 days to 3 weeks depending on the agency and the course organiser, and this variation can produce significantly different outcomes with regard to diver competence.

This presentation aims to evaluate the adequacy of these options against both the proposed legislative requirements and competencies prescribed in the Australian Standard, and international best practice

Michael Menduno

Freediving Forum

Kirk Krack, Amber Bourke, Adam Seller, Mandy-Rae Krack and Thibault Guignes present a lively panel discussion on freediving safety, mixed gas use, hunting, breath hold photography, and other topics. Facilitated by Michael Menduno

Matty Smith

Over & Under Photography Master Class

Matty Smith, the guru of over & under photography will show you some of the more advanced techniques & lighting to take your images to the next level.

Pete Mesley

Essential Basics in Underwater Photography

Doesn’t matter what camera you have if you master the basic fundamentals in setting up your camera and strobes/lights this will give you more time to focus on composition. Your shots will be free of backscatter and get pleasing results.

Pete Mesley

Advanced techniques - Taking your Underwater Imagery to the next level

So you have been taking pictures underwater for some time now. You are taking really pleasing shots. You have managed to emulate some challenging images you have seen online taken by prominent photographers. Great! Now what? Some ideas to make your images your own.

Pete Mesley

The Deep Wrecks of The Solomon Islands

This presentation takes you into the history of the Battle of Guadalcanal and diving some of the best wrecks in the South Pacific including one of the most successful expeditions conducted on USS Atlanta sitting in 130m of water.